Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 08 - Maya Center

 The following morning we headed to Cabbage Haul Creek to sample, which required a little bit of hiking through the denser part of the jungle to reach. Quite a few of us collected mosquito and no-see-um bites as we sampled for insects here. Aquatic nets were the most efficient at capturing aquatic bugs, and aerial nets were great for nabbing up butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies near the bank.

Sampling with sweep nets

Checking out some insects along the bank

Dr. Bundy shows off a river crab

We stopped by Julio's chocolate factory in the afternoon. Julio guided us through his process of creating delicious chocolate and coffee straight from the harvested bean to the finished product. We enjoyed sampling a variety of chocolate (milk, 80% dark and coffee) and were quick to purchase some for immediate consumption and as gifts for friends and family.

Che'il, meaning "wild Mayan", tributes to the Mayan ways of using cacao

Kimo grinding cacao nibs on a Mayan grinding stone

Later, we stopped by the Maya Center Woman's Gift Shop, which boasts a variety of beautiful hand-made Mayan crafts for purchase.

Our evening was spent checking out the black light traps for more insects, and we weren't disappointed! Brittny snapped photos of the more impressive and colorful insects we discovered, such as these moths:

At some point someone found a tiny snake!

Too small to take a nip at us, fortunately!

More updates to come...

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